By Melanie Stegner,

Graduation and next year’s staff were some of the items on the agenda for this week’s school board meeting but first the board wanted to thank everyone who helped make Day of Caring a success, especially Terri Richards, Kelly Bleick and Mary Walsh who did most of the organizing. “There was an enormous amount of effort that went into getting ready and executing the day and we’ve received many positive comments from community and staff,” said Superintendent Chip Rankin.

The summary of bills, investment report, foodservice report, and revenue and expenditure reports were discussed. There were no bills that are out of the ordinary, but with the addition of Drew Olsonawski to the accounting office, the reports look a bit different. “I started highlighting some of the bills that from an auditing perspective would be questioned, just so I can be sure I’m pointing anything out that is out of the ordinary,” said Drew. “The investment report should look pretty much the same every month. The interest rates may fluctuate over periods of time, but not very much.”

The food service at W.I.N. has had some changes. An option was created for students to get seconds as well as a treat during the day if they so choose. “We have also kicked off a fresh fruit and vegetable option. Every morning the kids are exposed to a new fruit or vegetable along with a drink, just to get them to try new foods,” said Bridget Gallagher, Food Services Director.

Healthy Systems will be managing next year’s lunch menus. They monitor the specific guidelines, ensuring the nutritional requirements are met for each meal. The storm didn’t create much food loss, some lunch meats and dairy products were the main things that had to be disposed of.

The superintendent’s report included a slight uptick in COVID with four students and staff experiencing symptoms/quarantining last week. “This winter we may experience some more upticks in positive cases as the vaccine is not effective,” said Rankin.

“I’m also concerned with maintaining our hourly staff, not that I’m not concerned with everyone. We are short paraprofessionals and have been hiring for these positions all year,” said Rankin.

“There were some questions about the gentleman that came to visit a student at our school that was not supposed to be here. When someone comes to the door, they push a button and are allowed into the office where they are locked until they are allowed to pass through,” stated Rankin.

Tracy Beyer presented information regarding travel for Spanish students to Puerto Rico. The trip will take place in Spring of 2023. “Students enrolled in Spanish III and IV will be able to participate. The trip is expected to last seven days or so depending on cost. We will visit cultural sites, immersion in Spanish culture and much more. The trip emphasizes the use of foreign language through the trip,” said Beyer. Any students who do not take the trip are given lessons to work with a substitute teacher outlining classroom expectations. “We make every effort to ensure course continuity for those not traveling abroad,” she said.

There were twenty new hires within the district, including 15 summer recreation workers. There are seven resignations as well. The board approved the membership to the Minnesota State High School League as well as the 2022-2023 school year handbooks.

The period for filing affidavits of candidacy for school board members opens on August 2, 2022 and closes on August 16, 2022. The affidavits must be in the office of the school district clerk along with the two-dollar filing fee prior to 5 p.m. that day. On November 8, 2022, there will be three school board members elected with four-year terms and one school board member for a two-year term. Contact the school district clerk for the affidavits of candidacy.